Small forward DeQuan Jones is probably better than, oh, 95 percent of the world at playing basketball.
That’s likely not enough to make the Magic roster, which has 13 guaranteed contracts.
Despite the long odds, Jones has played with a fervor this preseason, displaying his athletic assets that could draw interest from another team, stateside or abroad.
Jones hit 5-of-6 shots for 10 points, had four blocks and turned in the highlight play of the night – a fastbreak alley-oop dunk off a pass from Jameer Nelson.
“The good thing is we haven’t made any cuts so far,” Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said when asked about Jones’ chances of making the team. “Go to practice and work hard. That’s my advice I have for him. Be good to the game and the game will be good to you.”Added Vaughn, “DeQuan has done a good job. He tries to get better every day and I appreciate that. He did a good job using his athleticism against some pretty good forwards.”
Jones knows what he’s up against.
“I feel fine. I just go out and play the best basketball I can and just let the rest take care of itself. I use my speed, my agility,” he said. “I try to be an energy guy, a utility guy.”
Jones said the coaches and veterans such as Jameer Nelson have helped him immensely.
“They all talked to me about letting the game come to you….so it kind of slows down,” he said.
The Magic have three more preseason games left, and cuts could start any day with 20 players on the roster.Brian Schmitz is the Magic Insider for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him at email@example.com. And you can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@magicinsider.